MaHIMA welcomes Melissa Roberts, MHA, RHIT

Melissa is a recent transplant to New England where she is now Director of CDI and Coding Integrity for Boston Medical Center.  She moved here from her position as Division Director of Coding and Reimbursement for Hospital Sisters Health System in Belleville, IL.

In her new position, Melissa oversees the day-to-day operations of the CDI and Coding Teams at BMC, working with other departments to improve physician documentation, reduce edits, and reduce denials.  Plus, she is assisting with the EPIC go live next year.

We asked Melissa to tell us what drew her to HIM as a career.  “To make a long story short, I started out as a nursing major at a Catholic four-year university.  They ran into financial difficulties and had to close the University at the end of my freshman year.  I transferred to the only other college in the county, a community college, and applied to their nursing program but was put on a five-year waitlist.  By this time, I had over half of my pre-requisite coursework out of the way for a nursing degree and started looking into other degrees the college had to offer in the medical field.  I discovered HIM.  I talked to several students and the Director of the program and thought I might like to do this.  After my first year in the HIM program, I was hooked and decided this is what I want to do with my career.” 

Does she regret her side-step into HIM?  “No!  If I were asked by someone for my advice, I would tell them to skip nursing and go straight into HIM.  You are going to like this and you will do great.  Just remember to keep your head up and stay positive.”  Excellent advice for all of us!

What does the future hold for Melissa?  “Good question.  I know I want to do more with my career and I love to mentor others and to share my knowledge with others.  I have been thinking about going back to school to get a PhD so I can teach at the collegiate level.  I have also thought that I might want to move up and become a Vice President in a healthcare organization, where I can share my knowledge with others and help improve the organizations CDI and Coding programs to maximize reimbursement.”

Watch for Melissa at future MaHIMA meetings and welcome her to our state.